The European Commission turns its gaze to the metaverse - EURACTIV.com

The European Commission turns its gaze to the metaverse – EURACTIV.com

Next year the EU executive will present an initiative around the Metaverse, the latest virtual reality space for users to interact, Announced on Wednesday (September 14).

Currently, there are several metaverses in development other than those promoted by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Digital platforms promise to offer new possibilities for people to interact in real time and across distances with a more immersive experience.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: letter of intent that accompanied her annual State of the Union address.

One of the major new initiatives for 2023 as part of a Europe fit for the digital age is an initiative around virtual worlds, such as the metaverse. cThe deployment of such virtual spaces raises some questions that are difficult for regulators and lawmakers to answer, since this future development of a 3D version of the Internet is still in its infancy.

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, put forward three crucial aspects of promoting such virtual worlds in LinkedIn post.

People

First and foremost, stress the human element, as the metaverse must be centered on the values ​​and rules of Europe.

This new virtual environment should include European values ​​from the start. Bretton wrote that people should feel as safe in virtual worlds as they do in the real world.

Britton said that although Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse comes to mind first, no private actor should hold the key to the public space or set its terms. There should also be interoperable standards developed by private gauges.

An organization working on standards that will ensure the interoperability of the metaverse Already created. However, there are still concerns that dominant players will continue to replicate the so-called “walled gardens” they use on their platforms to keep users locked in.

Breton also referred to the European Union’s Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, noting that the bloc already has “robust and forward-looking regulatory tools for the digital space.”

He emphasized that rather than entering a disorganized world of chaos, metaverses should become safe spaces, and standards would be developed through a collaborative effort.

We will launch a creative, interdisciplinary movement, aimed at developing standards, increasing interoperability and maximizing impact with the help of IT experts, organizational experts, and citizen and youth organizations,” Britton wrote.

Metaverse: How do you organize a space that hasn’t been invented yet?

Although the metaverse promises great commercial opportunities, it raises a number of questions that regulators and lawmakers have difficulty answering because this future development of the Internet is still at a very early stage.

Technologies

Second, Europe’s ability to influence virtual worlds will also depend on its strength in developing cutting-edge technologies and building a sustainable ecosystem, said Breton, which is seen as one of the main drivers pushing for the EU’s technological supremacy.

While industry stakeholders regularly express concerns about the skills gap and Europe’s inability to attract skilled workers in the IT sector, Breton believes that skilled workers and researchers are Europe’s strong assets.

Breton stresses that the ecosystem is already growing across Europe: in Italy, Latvia, France, Germany, Finland and elsewhere, it is made up of large players as well as innovative SMEs.

On Wednesday, the commissioner fired Industry Alliance for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality With 40 companies connecting stakeholders of critical metaverse technologies.

Through a roadmap and investments in photonics, semiconductors or new materials, the commission aims to build the foundation for this ecosystem. Breton acknowledged that a combination of private, national and EU funding would be necessary.

The European technology sector faces the next challenge

As capital markets become more mature in many European countries, a new challenge for startups is securing talent. However, work solutions, remote work and upcoming EU policies could disrupt the public landscape.

infrastructure

Third, meters will add stress to the communication infrastructure needed to enable new developments, such as new payment systems or forms of identification.

The amount of data being exchanged – and harvested – through these technologies will be greater than ever, Britton said.

With greater amounts of data being exchanged, the commissioner noted that there could be a “reduction in revenue and willingness to invest to enhance [the infrastructures] and make it flexible.

For the benefit of all Europeans, the Commissioner therefore calls on market players who benefit from digital transformation to contribute equitably to public goods, services and infrastructure, making for the first time a link to his initiative to make online platforms contribute to a cost-effective digital infrastructure.

Backed by European telecom providers, Breton is pushing for the introduction of the “sender pays” principle. The former CEO of France Telecom announced in Interview with Le Monde On the 9th of September.

[Edited by Luca Bertuzzi/Zoran Radosavljevic]


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